Pales­tinian in­sur­gency

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

Is­raeli De­fense Forces (IDF) spokes­woman Lt. Col. Avi­tal Lei­bovitch said Ha­mas is us­ing “hun­dreds” of se­cret tun­nels to smug­gle arms, for­eign fight­ers and mil­i­tary equip­ment into Gaza through a nine-mile-square area from Egypt. Many of the tun­nels come up through res­i­dences as covert ex­it­ways.

Col. Lei­bovitch said Ha­mas has been work­ing “24/7” to smug­gle weapons, mis­siles and peo­ple through the tun­nel net­works. Al­though Is­rael and Egypt have worked to block some of the tun­nels, work on the sub­ter­ranean smug­gling routes is con­tin­u­ing.

Is­rael’s re­cent mil­i­tary in­cur­sion into Gaza dra­mat­i­cally re­duced the num­ber of rocket at­tacks from the Pales­tinian-con­trolled en­clave into Is­rael, Col. Lei­bovitch said in an in­ter­view in Wash­ing­ton.

How­ever, Ha­mas con­tin­ues to de­velop both its rocket and mis­sile forces in se­cret and has mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the out­skirts of Tel Aviv, she said.

Ha­mas also has been caught four times at­tempt­ing to smug­gle arms and bomb-mak­ing knowhow into Gaza through covert ship­ments from the sea. Four ships have been cap­tured at­tempt­ing to smug­gle the arms, she said.

Most of the weapons are smug­gled in from Iran, in­clud­ing Chi­nese-made mis­siles re­ex­ported by Tehran, she said. They in­clude Kas­sam rock­ets, long-range mor­tars and Grad mis­siles, in­clud­ing one ver­sion

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